The top Democrat over the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that subpoenas might be the the second step if the White House doesn’t observe a Friday deadline at hand over specifics of any tapes of President Donald Trump’s meetings with former FBI Director James Comey.
Rep. Adam Schiff suggested inside an interview the intelligence panel could also consider issuing subpoenas to get hold of memos Comey wrote and gave to many colleagues and friends about his interactions with Trump.
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“I certainly would hope we’ll purchase a response within the White House by Friday,” Rep. Adam Schiff said within an interview Wednesday, talking about his committee’s deadline to get the tapes – if any exist, as obama hinted within a tweet recently. “If and we don’t, then we’ll ought to find out what the next steps are.”
Asked if next steps could include subpoenas, the California Democrat responded: “Yes, it could.”
Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the intelligence panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling from the presidential election, will have to comply with any effort to issue subpoenas, as would House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
Conaway said Wednesday he weren’t sure whether the Trump administration would meet the Friday deadline. “I’m not clairvoyant,” the Texas Republican quipped.
Comey’s memos – and possible tapes of his conversations with Trump – are already an origin of controversy and speculation on Capitol Hill from the time that last month, as soon as the New York Times reported that Comey kept detailed memos of his interactions using the president. Which includes a meeting by which Trump allegedly suggested to Comey he should drop the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – a revelation that has led some to accuse the president of obstructing justice.
Shortly before that story published, Trump had suggested the inclusion of tapes in a tweet, writing: “James Comey better hope that we now have no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
More than the usual month later, Congress has yet to get its face to face the memos or any tapes, despite requests from a few House and Senate Committees. A buddy of Comey’s reports he given back copies within the memos to the FBI.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday he expects Trump soon to spellout whether such tapes exist.
Conaway and Schiff requested details on any tapes and copies with the memos earlier this year, setting a Friday deadline for the tapes.
The Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees can also be seeking any tapes and memos.
The Judiciary panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said Tuesday she weren’t sure yet whether either panel would actually encourage them.